Roger Horwood |

Most important lessons; have a strong faith in God and keep your spirits up.

On 01 August 2013, at 67 years old, I went into hospital for a full pelvic exenteration due to recurrent colon cancer situated in an extremely awkward spot. Full pelvic exenteration basically means that every organ within the pelvic area is surgically removed, with the exception of most of the large and small intestine, resulting in two irreversible stomas, i.e. a colostomy and a urostomy. The operation was performed by a really fantastic Cape Town team of surgeons and doctors and lasted seven and a half hours followed by five nights in ICU and a total of eighteen days in hospital.


I have been home for 6 nights now, sleeping in a wonderfully comfortable “Lazy boy” chair in the lounge because a bed is too flat and everything gets stretched! Every day is a little less uncomfortable and I’m a little more mobile, but it’s going to be a long haul – like 3 months before even thinking about driving again.


It actually feels like I’ve been hoofed in the middle by a cart horse and it’s very difficult to get comfortable. As you can imagine, all those organs have been taken out from the pelvic area so what’s left has to drop into the space left and settle into their own new position – a little bit like trying to drop a garden hosepipe into a bucket, and very fortunately there have been no kinks so far. And all the many bits and parts inside which have been cut and sealed off have to heal. They say it’s a bit like a mum having a ‘C section’ only much worse! Remind me never to have a ‘C section’! 


I saw all the specialists yesterday and they were very pleased with the progress, pronouncing that my body is now as clear of cancer as the medical profession can make it and that I can, hopefully, look forward to a full recovery and another few years of enjoyable and useful life. Most important lessons; have a strong faith in God and keep your spirits up.


I’m feeling really good under the circumstances and I would be very happy to correspond with anyone who feels that it might be helpful.

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